IRTE Skills Challenge: winners to be revealed this month

No fewer than 18 teams from 10 bus operators took part in the fifth annual IRTE Skills Challenge for bus and coach technicians, which took place last month at S&B Automotive Academy, in Bristol.

This year's competition saw the return of major players in the sector, with teams from Abellio, Arriva, First Group, Go-Ahead London, Go South Coast, London United, Metroline, Tower Transit, Translink and Trentbarton battling it out.

"The IRTE Skills Challenge fits in with our development and training structure at Metroline," says Mark Hayward, training manager for Metroline, who entered a team for the first time last year.

"No matter how confident you are, being tested under surveillance will make you nervous... And there's nothing wrong with a bit of competition."

"The Challenge ... gives our technicians a chance to showcase their abilities and perform to the highest level," adds Lloyd Mason, engineering development manager for Arriva.

"We value engineering excellence, which is why we continue to take part in the competition," he adds.

This year, the IRTE Skills Challenge was sponsored by Allison Transmission, Bridgestone, Knorr-Bremse and Shell Lubricants. It is also supported by DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency), Teng Tools, Abellio, and MAN.

Winners will be revealed at a presentation on 16 July 2015 at the National Motorcycle Museum, in Birmingham.

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